- Rory RespicioGuam Natural Resources Committee Chair Senator Rory Respicio
Support Bill No. 44-31 to End the Shark Fin Trade in Guam
Guam Vice Speaker BJ Cruz and Guam Natural Resources Committee Chair Senator Rory Respicio recently introduced a bill that could make it illegal to possess or sell shark fins and manta parts in Guam.
The bill has the potential to protect hundreds of thousands of sharks and rays from mutilation and slow death.
Every year, millions of sharks are hunted for their fins. After a fin is cut off, the shark is tossed back into the water to await a tortuous death. Rays, especially manta rays, are killed primarily for their gill rakes. Research shows mantas only reproduce once every six years. The slow reproduction rate makes the animal extremely vulnerable to overfishing.
A hearing is scheduled for February 1st, and shark advocacy groups, Shark Savers, WildAid and Shark Defenders want to gather as many letters of support for the bill as possible.
Sign the petition below to send your letter of support to the Guam lawmakers.
Photo credit: andrew4bellamy
- Guam Natural Resources Committee Chair Senator Rory Respicio
Thank you for introducing Bill No. 44-31. I am writing you in support for this bill to make it illegal to possess or sell shark fins and manta parts in Guam.
Almost one-third of all shark species are threatened or nearly threatened with extinction. Top predators are vital to the delicate balance of the ecosystem and the loss of these predators would be devastating to the ocean.
Shark finning is not only cruel but also wasteful. After a fin is hacked off, the shark is often tossed back into the water to die. Banning the shark trade in Guam will save thousands of sharks and end needless suffering. With the ban, shark fins and manta parts will no longer be profitable in Guam.
As you know, the measure will also protect rays. Manta rays, specifically, are hunted for their gill rakes. With a low reproduction rate, manta rays are extremely vulnerable.
Though the local fishing industry opposes the bill, I urge you to support the important measure. The Federal Shark Conservation Act already makes it illegal for shark finning, and Bill No. 44-31 will not affect local fisheries as some think.
Please pass Bill No. 44-31 with no weakening amendments.
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